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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 18, 2014 7:00am-10:01am EST

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eastern, >> good morning. it is tuesday, february 18, 2014 area at the house and senate will convene for it brief pro forma session this morning. washington journal" will bring you a full three hour show. first, we want to talk about the growing number of americans who commute to work via bicycle. recently, a bipartisan group of congressional members proposed and $11 million program to help make bicycle commuting safer.
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asking for your thoughts on whether it is a good use of taxpayer dollars. weird also like to hear if and how ike commuting is supported in your community. -- we would also like to hear if and how bicycle commuting is supported in your community. we have a special line for cyclists this morning. you can also catch up with us on all your favorite social media pages on twitter and facebook. you can also e-mail us. morningstart this talking about this story in roll call. it notes that as cycling to work becomes more popular, it is becoming more dangerous.
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this story goes on to note that is proposingmocrat and $11 million low-cost loan program. the program would be modeled on the popular transportation infrastructure finance and infrastructure act that provides loan guarantees for road, bridge and transit projects.
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as you might note, the league of american bicyclists is one group that is in favor of this program after the congressman unveiled his proposal at the end of last month. the league released its own statement on it. that is andy clark talking about this loan program in which
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states would receive the credit backing of the federal government and repay these loans . it is an $11 million program that is being proposed by the cosponsored by several other members of congress. we want to hear from you this morning about why sick ling man federal dollars for bicycle commuting. howant your thoughts on bicycle commuting is supported in your part of the country. give us a call. the phone lines are open now. you can call in now. some membersnote, of congress, not all members of congress, are supporting funding for bicycle programs and bicycle commuter programs. last year during the debate over the transportation bill last summer, senator rand paul of kentucky proposed an amendment to eliminate the funding for in the programs that is
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transportation alternatives program. it wasn't the first time that he proposed this amendment. the funds in this account, which are about $800 million, rand paul wanted to direct it towards bridges and critical corridors funding. that is a funding program for -- specifically to fix bridges around the country. that proposal got some pushback from supporters of bicycle commuting around the country. the first it was in time that rand paul proposed it. he proposed it back in 2011, to , this $800oney million from the transportation alternative program to bridges.
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back in 2011. he released a statement. he said let's fund construction efforts on america's most high-priority infrastructure needs without adding to our national debt. in this time of massive annual proposalis bridge certainly trumps bike paths and squirrel sanctuaries. that was his op-ed in the youth louisville courier-journal. we want to hear your thoughts on federal dollars and federal efforts on this. it also, what is happening in your neck of the woods. let's go to fred in whitman, massachusetts on our line for independents. fred, thanks for calling "the
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washington journal." retired. am 72 and i teach now. i substitute teach. i have been riding my bike since i was a kid. i have lived all over the .ountry massachusetts probably has some of the best bicycling abilities anywhere in the country. one of the biggest problems that i share with other cyclists is the idea is a good idea, but by the time it goes to the politicians you never get what you wanted. you always end up getting that is far from something cyclists would want. you cycle with pedestrians and cars. they just finished the project on the boston-quincy line. you say the politicians
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get involved in it is not what you wanted third how do they change the process? what do they add or take away from the process that you want ? see you g caller: what we need is separation of traffic from pedestrians. we have to meld into traffic again. in this application where there is an expressway and everything else, they could have easily made an arrangement where you bypass all of this. they just dump you back into traffic again after you go over a river. you are stuck there. there is no way to cross traffic . the way they designed the interaction, they could have gone around to keep your a from traffic. the thing just died right there area obviously, the people who
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would have liked to have a different way were never encouraged to be involved. cyclists still represent less than one percent of all daily commuters. bicycling is the fastest-growing way that americans get to work. almost 800,000 american cycle to work in 2012. that represents a 10% increase over previous years. government.com took census bureau data from 2006 in 2011 and showed a map with the parts of the country in which cycling is growing the fastest. you can see the massachusetts area, which are last caller called from, green being the most growth from 2006 to 2011. also, of course, the new york area and d.c. metro area and chicago, as well. the red areas in which cycling has declined.
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plenty of green in terms of areas in which cycling is .rowing this is a map from governing.com. also, in the national highway transportation safety administration, their stats on bicycle safety, specifically fatalities involving bicycles and motorists over the course of -- here several years are the 2012 statistics. about 726 bicyclists were killed in injuries and traffic crashes in 2012. 2011.s up from 682 and that represents a 6.5% change over the course of the year. we can also show you a chart that takes the traffic fatalities involving bicyclists back to 2002. there are about 665 dating to 2002. 629 in 2003.
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inn creeping up to 677 back 2011. let's go to peter waiting in schenectady, new york on the line for cyclists. peter, thank you for calling in this morning. ifler: yes, i am wondering how you get out tickets for speeding. if someone jumps in front of you, do they get a ticket? how do they get that? >> should there be more ticketing for bicyclists to raise federal funds? i think we should just run them over. why is he jumping onto giving us a ticket on a bicycle? that there are more bicycles there will be more cops on bikes to give tickets.
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people rushing to work and whatever. suddenly a guy jumps out in front of you and he's a cop giving you a ticket for going too fast. a conversation on our facebook page at facebook.com/c-span on the subject. edward brownlee writes -- let cities fund their own bike trails. let's go to bellevue, indiana on our independence line. caller: i'm in bellevue. 15 minutes out of
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seattle. we have great facilities for and recreation. also we have good ability to .rive through the city more progress is on the way. i'm 67 and they cut back on the metro. pro-bus,tried to be pro-anything to get the cars off the street. but with the cutbacks, it takes me about 45 minutes to walk up to the closest to stop -- to the closest bus stop. if i ride there and connect with the bus, there's only room for three or four bytes on the front and it is always full. the park and ride, if they could add funding to help these park-and-ride have secure bicycle storage, we could bike up to the park-and-ride and leave our bikes there and catch
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the bus. it would be so much more forgettable. it would get a lot more people out of their cars -- it would be so much more predictable. we have been talking about the possibility of a new loan program to help out the state and federal governments. it would be backed by the federal government. think it would be helpful. our state and local governments contribute a lot to this. years wen the next few are beginning to construct light rails from seattle to the .ellevue area again, it is a matter of getting to the light rail connection. luckily, with a light rail you can roll your bike right onto the train. you don't have to go up any steps or anything.
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it is making the connections. i think for some of us, like i say, i am 67, that do not have the option of riding all the way into the city from here. it is 15-20 miles one way. -- to encourage some sort of federal funding, to have local places. they do help us with our light systemnd some of the bus has cycle help. to make that more user-friendly, to have some secure storage areas to put your bikes once you get to the public transit would really make a big difference. stella writes in on our twitter page.
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we are taking your calls and your comments this morning and our facebook and twitter pages are open. we're talking about federal funding for bicycle commuting. let's go to chuck waiting in camden, new york on our line for republicans. chuck am a good morning. chuck, good morning. caller: i'm not opposed to helping fund bicycle routes. . live in upstate new york i've member ever since i was a kid you had rules of the road mixed in withwere cars and we had no problem. as far as the fed getting involved in it, we can't get 80
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me -- we can't spend 80 millions on something better than bicycle lanes? i think that should be held at the state and local levels. i live on a county road that is in desperate need of repair. you can't do 25 miles an hour and a car. it would probably be safer and easier with the bicycle, but i don't understand why we are notg federal money and leaving it to local and state government. gain, --host: agree with you senator paul who is talking about prioritizing infrastructure projects? he wanted to put money that was intended for bicycle funding to bridge repair. he has been trying to do this since 2011. he tried this last year in the transportation bill and an amendment he proposed. would you agree that it is a prioritization issue?
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caller: absolutely. -- you can'tcture get around because roads are , not to mention bridges. around here, i count immediately eight bridges that have been out for over three years. what is going on? they say there is no money to fix them. so we are going to build bicycle ?anes i wonder how these people get emergency care or god for bid prevention.re no wonder we're losing our houses, because we can't get to them. it is time to start fixing america. i've never seen our country look so bad as far as the roads. it is disgusting. time thatt the first
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a president has said we're going to fix our infrastructure. where is it? again, we are talking about an $11 million low cost loan program to help state and local governments roadside rocks, trails and dedicated bicycle lanes. a proposal was put forth new jersey -- a proposal was put out in new jersey. let's go to marry waiting in jefferson city, missouri. she is on a line for democrats. i'm just calling in to say i'm very glad to see a bill like this introduced in congress. it is something that is very needed. map that you showed earlier with the green and red spots. i noticed st. louis, which isn't , and thathere i live
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are hardly any green dots, which i would say is a bicycle unfriendly area, where we live. it is just that local governments have the will to put in bike paths and lanes and make it safer bicyclists, but we need a little bit of help from the federal government. i'm 62 and still work. i would ride my bicycle to work every day if i had the ability to get there safely. but i don't. i have to cross a major intersection. i would have to write in streets that have no bike lanes, no sidewalks. so i drive my car to work every day. it is only about four miles, which is not very far. support that,uch so i just wanted to call in and say i support the congressman's efforts. i would call him today and let him know that i would do the same. >> jefferson city, missouri, looking at the census bureau data from 2006-2 thousand 11.
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the red dots are where commuting where bicycle commuting has decreased. green dots are where bicycle commuting has increased over the course of those five years. we will stay on this topic for about the next 25 minutes or so. newse point out some other from around the country this morning, from the headlines. "wall street journal. " of a washington times story, that story notes that --hough his political bite
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on the topic, the "wall street that republicans
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will try to push that issue to call for more infrastructure that vice president joe biden will try to push that issue. andnt to get your thoughts find out what things are like in your neighborhood. joseph is calling in from telephone you on our line for independence. caller: good morning. is the mostg inexpensive means of transportation that there is. i would like to put that in there. i would also like to ask you, have you been threatened about building number seven since you won't talk about it? joseph., we will stick to bicycling as a topic and keep conspiracy theories for another day. richard, good morning. i have a few comments.
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recreationalles of walking. and the city has where spent hundreds of thousands of three quartersin of a mile a bicycle lane in one .ection it is a waste of federal money. the recreational part is wonderful. the federal government has no business trying to tell us what to do. all right, richard calling in from lynchburg, virginia.
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benefits for bicyclist and bicycle commuting. there is a benefit for those who bicycle to work. this is also current -- courtesy of the league of bicyclists. there may be as much as $20 a month and tax benefits for employees who bike to work very is a law that has been on the books since 2009. it notes that an employee cannot choose to reimburse themselves with pretax income. employere paid by the and an employee cannot receive both the transit and bicycle french benefits in the same month. that is talking about the different transit benefits that workers can get. that is one of the benefits that are out there and written into the federal code. we're talking about federal support for those who bicycle to work. i want to get your thoughts and comments. we're going to ron on in harrisburg, pennsylvania. ron, good morning. yeah, i have been a
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bicyclist commuter for pretty much my entire life. what i notice out there is there seems to be a aggressive pointed at bicyclists. it may not just be funding for a wider shoulder and if you bike baths, but maybe a few vulnerable pedestrians or may changersons laws the attitude of drivers out there. when i have an account or with the car, i am automatically a loser. it gets a couple of scratches, maybe a debtor to, but i end up with something broken or worse. host: jack, good morning. hello.
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if we can save a lot of energy and a lot of money on fossil fuels if people go to work on bicycles. we all understand this. it would change a lot of potholes and help get people jobs into the streets to get people this information. you know, to help people to reduce emission as we face this horrible climate change. one thing that i do fear, the only thing i do fear is that it for police officers to see what i'm doing on the bicycle. indiana, i live in a constitution free zone. i've gotten pulled over and my laptop has gotten surged because i had it in my back pack because i was heading to the library. this is a very conspicuous topic because it is close and
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personal to my heart. the fact that i drive to work on my bicycle to say fossil fuels, yet i am pulled over by an officer of the law because i have an electronic device on my backpack. thank you, jackson in granger, indiana. conversation is always continuing on our twitter page. joe writes and, if anything there should be more federal support for unicycling. we will keep of the subject for the next 15 minutes or so, but i want to give you some more headlines. these from overseas. these from the front page of the new york times today.
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>> if you want to read more on that in several stories and editorials today but a new human rights report about conditions in north korea, here is the -- front page of "the washington times."
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this u.n. report on conditions and how north korea treats its citizens. i want to read you a bit from the "washington post" story. the united nations released an authoritative report on north korea. you one investigators -- u.n. investigators -- a bit from that report. also the subject of one of the lead editorials and today's "wall street journal."
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notes --rial board scores the regime's abuses and enablers. several different stories on that subject. but we are talking about federal commutersr bicycle and bicycle safety. we want to bring in congressman earl blumenauer on the subject. he is always seen with his cycling pin. how are you?
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congressman come are you with us -- congressman, are you with us? are you there? guest: yes. host: thank you for joining us from oregon. guest: happy to do it. host: we have been talking about this bill by your fellow congressman on creating a new loan program specifically to help investments in making bicycle commuting safer and pedestrian commuting, as well. want to get your thoughts on the overall level of federal support for cyclists. guest: i think it is a nice step forward. more of thea little revenue stream for cycling improvements at a time when resources are stretched very tight. but it is merely a drop in the bucket.
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what we really need to do is go back and address the program we used to have. the bicycle enhancements program for bicycles and for pedestrian activities and others. secure ands a more more generous funding level. that is one of the reasons why i introduced legislation to require the department of transportation to have better metrics and safety standards. fastest-growing method of commuting in the country. almost one million people per year. it does not show up for many people, but cycling truly is exploding, the popularity of what is happening in bike sale programs in our nation's capital, in new york, chicago,
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communities across the country. the real problem here is that have notong we invested adequate resources in the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. there are about 10 times as many their are funding as a percentage. on the new bill bicycle commuters representing about 1% of all daily commuters. is the support for bicyclists and federal funding equal to that level of commuters? speaksthat percentage only to commuting.
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it does not speak to the much larger scale of bicycling in communities. there are hundreds of thousands of children who have been benefited in terms of being able -- excuse me -- walk safely to school. there are communities around the country with that percentage of far eclipsed. portland, oregon -- some parts of our community that is 10%. it is the cheapest and fastest way to get new highway capacity. we have underinvested in it, in terms of safety for children and pedestrians.
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we have underinvested in terms of ways to promote bicycle commuting. it is time that the federal government realized that we can do a lot more with very little extra money. host: we appreciate you getting up with us this morning. there are some callers who have called them and also members of congress who have said that federal funds need to be prioritized and bicycle one ofng just is not those top priorities. perhaps one of the -- some of the funding we spend on bicycles should go to bridge safety and infrastructure. your response? the enhancements program was the most popular program for federal funding. people really want this. agost mentioned a moment that it is the fastest way to get new highway capacity.
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every person who is in a bike lane next to you is not in a car in front of you or competing for a parking space when you arrive at your destination. , thatinter made earlier there are 10 times as many fatalities associated with bike and pedestrian activities than the amount of funding involved, would suggest that we are not putting the amount of money that we should have. virtually all of those fatalities involve an automobile. i think that the fact is that people around the country strongly support bicycle -pedestrian activity but there are lives at risk and there is an opportunity to improve the commuting experience for everybody, by having more opportunities for everybody. i think people are missing the mark. have legislation that would
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require the department of transportation to provide better information because the fact is, we are under investing year, it is a great opportunity, and it is a tremendous need. host: how close are you to getting capitol hill certified as a bike friendly work lace? -- lace -- place? picture ofhowed a you commuting to work on capitol hill on your bike. guest: we have made tremendous progress on capitol hill. we are providing more services for parking. we have done a lot in terms of having shower facilities for employees and folks that work there and raising the consciousness. i am really pleased with what has happened in washington dc during the time i have been there. it is no longer a novelty. cycling has really taken hold in our nation's capital. i want to make sure that the u.s. congress is part of that
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leadership. ,ost: congressman blumenauer thank you so much for getting up with us on "washington journal." guest: thank you so much. host: he was talking about fatalities and threats to cyclists on their way to work. from thenother chart national highway transportation safety association that we already showed today. this is the composition of total fatalities in 2003 and 2012. is pedestrians and cyclists. 13% in 2003. 17% in 2012. but go to paul in massachusetts. republican line. good morning. caller: hi, john. i have a few quick points. they introduced bike lanes and lowell, massachusetts. everybody was happy until we
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realized what a bike lane was. it was taking a piece of existing roadway and pacing a bicycle symbol in the middle of it. that has occurred, drivers have been dissatisfied with the notion of sharing their lands with bicyclists. the bicycle lanes seem to be rarely used by bicyclists. one of my other point is that this opens the door for taxation. i don't know if you know about what is happening in chicago. they are requiring folks to register the bicycles as if they were motor vehicles. that is a tax on people who are trying to save money i riding their bicycles to work. i don't think that is really the right way to go. if people want to ride their bike, that is fine. there is no sense in taking federal dollars to paint bicycle symbols in the middle of existing roadways. writes in on twitter.
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one other tweet. federal funding for bicycle safety projects. two other stories we want to point out for you. the front page of "the washington post." the olympics is not improving gays' plight in russia. theill be talking about issue of gay marriage in the united states coming up in one of her later segments of "washington journal" today. here is the front page of the money/investing section of "the wall street journal."
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talking about bitcoin and some of the recent issues of technology breakdown about bitcoin's viability. stay tuned for a last segment of "washington journal" today when we will be talking for 45 minutes about bitcoin. a few more minutes about bikes and federal funding about bicycle commuting. john in saratoga springs on our line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. i am in favor of the funding for bike paths, for two reasons. i do not see how to -- people can say we are broke when we blow $2 billion per week on other countries. our roads, with the ice and the we haveand the roads, terrible roads that need to be fixed. you need the bike paths because people are too fat.
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incorrect toally call obesity what it is, but we have people getting knee replacements, hip replacements. when you carry around the weight of an extra person for half your life, you are going to blow out your knee. we complain about health problems than this and that, but nobody wants to exercise. we need these bike paths. the country is too fat. host: john calling in for independents. cecil from north carolina. caller: good morning. you have a nice program going for you. i've got a suggestion. that gove sidewalks almost all the way to the shopping center in the suburbs sizable,ake sidewalks it out to be legal for people to
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have some kind of discretion in the way they use their bicycle. i was in europe and in those countries, they have bicycle stands outside of the stores come of the merchants, and all that. people who cannot drive or are can go withdrive the bicycle. you slowly go down the decline when you go down a decline. i think there is a lot of room for bicycles. if you give some discretion to pedestrians to go down the streets, you can look out for the person who is on the street. the sidewalks are wide. you can conserve your energy. you can walk hills. then you can go down a long stretch.
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i have tried to reach the shopping center where i live and it is very difficult. i think if you had access to a larger -- a wider sidewalk, i have a person that would multi speed mechanism on his bicycle would be able to go anywhere he wanted to. host: one must comment from our facebook page on the subject. you can continue the conversation on our facebook rage. we will move on with our program. up next, we will talk to kevin kuhlman of the national federation of independent business legislative affairs manager.
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later, we will talk about this initiativeslative for and against legalizing same-sex marriage. we will be right back. >> tonight, our conversation with tennessee republican senator bob corker on his early career in business. i started working when i was 13 doing all kinds of odds and ends. i was a construction labor, rough carpenter. i was a construction superintendent. after four years, i had built some regional malls around the country. saved $8,000.
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when i was 25 years old, i went into business. i started doing a lot of small projects where i could be paid quickly. the company grew at about 80% per year. winter the building shopping centers around the country, retail projects in 18 states. it was energizing. it was a great place to be. the energy when you come in to the front door would almost knock you down. i sold that when i was 37 to a young man who had worked with me for many, many years. i have done several things since. i acquired a good deal of real estate. through the years, through portfolios and other companies. anyway, i love being in business. with ar, we will talk democratic senator on being in the senate and the mother of a teenage daughter. >> she called me and i picked up
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the cell phone. she said, mom, she said we cannot wear bikinis at the pool party, but you can wear tank he needs -- tankinis. dad does not understand the difference. i said, get him on the phone right now. i walked into lindsey graham and practically knocked them over. i said, i am not doing this balance very well. for any mother, it does not mother whether you are a senator, trying to balance the family on the work, you never do it perfectly. .> american profile interviews tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. "washington journal" continues. host: we are joined by kevin kuhlman who serves as the
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legislative affairs manager at the national federation of independent business. the national federation of independent business represents business owners across the country. you have been talking to some of them. what are they telling you about their concerns for the affordable care act? guest: i was in ohio 45 days. we did nine meetings in five cities. in nineine meetings cities, i'm sorry. we met with more than 350 small business owners. i have been impressed with how they are understanding how this developed. a year and a half ago, the questions were far more general and nonspecific. what does this law mean to me? now folks are asking very specific questions. what does this do for my deductible? what changes will have to be made? their concerns are many. host: we will be talking about the subject for the next 45
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minutes or so. we have our standard lines on the segment, but also a special line for small business owners, if you have questions for kevin kuhlman. that line, (202) 585-3883. republicans, (202) 585-3881. democrats, (202) 585-3880. independents, (202) 585-3882. we will keep the special line open the entire segment. let's get into specifics. how are small business is defined under the affordable care act? guest: generally, businesses are small if they have less than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent workers. those are your part-time and seasonal hours added together. that would define small. large used to be businesses with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees, but after the change last week,
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the administration added a new category -- midsized business owners. host: let's get into that change. what brought that on and what the business owners need to know? as the administration was issuing final r regulations, one of the new requirements for small business owners, they went through a long and drawnout regulatory period, 3.5 paid statute became a 144 eight regulation and became finally a 227 page regulation -- it was after lots of feedback and back and forth, they decided that in order to assist with compliance, they were going to slowly implement the employer mandate. it was the last stage of the regulatory process. now, small business owners are digesting it and seeing what it means for their businesses. host: the big news being that businesses with 50-99 employees
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have until what he 16 to comply -- 2016 to comply with the law or face penalties at that point, correct? guest: correct. we have this new category of midsized businesses. 6.e key year for them is 201 that is when the employer mandate will apply to those businesses. for larger businesses, the employer mandate will begin in 2 015. host: this was an announcement that came last week. what is to prevent businesses from cutting back to get to this 99 numbers? there used to be that target --guest: there used to be that target on 50. that has been pushed off for one year, temporarily.
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that they concern is businesses with 100. that is the big target. unfortunately, within this regulation, the administration said that businesses will not be allowed to shrink below that threshold and still qualify to be a midsize business. you must certify that you did not shrink below 100 employees or you will not -- or the employer mandate will apply to you in 2015. there are certain qualifications to that transition release, as they call it. you cannot reduce employee hours or work for size and you cannot reduce contribution to employees benefits. host: this is the regulation that was released of the department of treasury, the implementation of businesses being mandated to offer insurance under the affordable care act. here is how they explained this newest delay for the midsized businesses.
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we will continue to make the compliance process simpler and easier to navigate. this from the tax assistant secretary for tax policy. today's final regulations phase in the standards to make sure the larger employers offer quality, affordable coverage or make an employer or sponsor bowl -- employee responsibility payment available to offset the cost to taxpayers of coverage or tax it -- subsidies to their employees. what is the administration telling small businesses? guest: they say the effort is to make it simpler and for transition release. through our research foundation, we have found that small business owners have a pretty good grasp on what their requirements will be. the questions are just getting more detailed and more technical and more specific. they grasp on what they need to do and are required to do. every change that is made,
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whether through the regulatory process potentially legislatively, decreases that certainty about their compliance efforts. reduce the my confidence of small business owners in their compliance, just like the delay back in july of 2013 reduced confidence in compliance. because itnificant provides temporary relief for those midsized businesses, those between 50-99. it is only one year temporary relief. no business is going to say, i can expand and in the future i will reduce my work force. in fact, as you mentioned, that limitation on reduction from above 100 to below 100, that may apply in future years to those above 50 shrinking below 50. are weighing this and seeing what it means for the businesses.
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you often hear that the employer mandate only applies to 4% of businesses. not necessarily true. there are two penalties. the non-offering penalty. if you choose not to offer health insurance, you will have to pay a $2000 penalty per full-time employee. the second percent of -- penalty that will apply to 100% of businesses for those above 50 and 100 next year is the affordability penalty. that gets a little more complicated. that takesequation into account employees contributions to premiums, the employer's premium, and it gets a little bit more nuanced. it will apply to all businesses. host: we are talking to kevin kuhlman, the legislative affair manager at national federation of independent business. small businesses seem to be low on the priority list of the obamacare implementation process. why do you think that is? guest: a couple of reasons.
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small business owners have been having to react to a lot of these changes. there was no a lot of outreach saying here is the process. we have to react to changes, just like the one last monday, even in an effort to make it a transition, provide transition or temporary relief -- it confines more complications. some of the opportunities for small business owners have woefully underperformed. for example, those small business exchange marketplaces, the shop exchange is, those have been delayed for a year. the federal facilitated exchanges, some of the state-based exchanges have also -- also been delayed. the small business tax credit -- it was promised that up to 4 million small businesses would qualify. --,000 have applied qualified. it has a lot of limitations.
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that has underperformed as well. host: if you have a question for kevin kuhlman, our phone lines are open. we have a special line for small business owners, (202) 585-3883. to:, are waiting for folks didi fredericks writes in on twitter. guest: the employer mandate would limit someone warm -- from potentially increasing above that 50 threshold or 100 threshold. that is one specific one to do it. it is more the regulatory environment that is more concerning. businesses feel that congress is not doing a lot currently, so they feel regulators might regulate through backend legislation. range from all the regulatory agencies. from todd is calling in
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midland, ohio. republican line. caller: how are you doing? guest: good. caller: i just want to say that i think the delay was mostly because the democrats was gett the vote.for the vote is behind the republicans. they are mostly delayed because they was getting hit hard. host: are you saying this was more an eye to the elections than a specific delay for businesses? your response? guest: i think many folks agree with that sentiment. i think it would instill more confidence and small business owners to see these changes made to the legislative process than it would through the regulatory process. the legislative process would carry the weight of the law,
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while these regulatory changes -- there were some fear that they could evolve again or any transition relief could be rescinded later. again, or any transition needs to be rescinded later. this would and still more confidence if these changes were made to the legislative process, and the house and senate have indicated some willingness to do. the political concerns have been specificdon't have any position on that but i think this is definitely what many people are considering. in windsor,01 connecticut, you're on the air. caller: the affordable care act, there are some money this -- provisions that people like, that will not stop you from government insurance, but any bill this large will have
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problems with it. all,, the real shame of it all the money and all the brainpower that the republicans have put into defeating this, trying to overturn this, if they had taken all of their resources and worked with the democrats to try to work out the problems to contain the bill this big, we may have a bill that would be very good. that, to me is the real shame of everything that has happened. host: calling in from connecticut. been part of the affordable care act -- have a always supported or had concerns with the aca? let me take a step back from that. long business owners have been concerned with the high cost of health insurance. it has been the number one problem since 1986.
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the concern with costs and affordability of health insurance as well predated the affordable care act. as the affordable care act has been implement it, our ceo was invited to the white house and on affordability should focus on reducing costs. you have been active ever since the process began, i guess you could say in trying to focus on affordability. the bill is focused on coverage expansion, and cost control later. polled our-- members and they said they opposed the law and wanted an appeal, opposing the individual mandate. but we are working, right now, although our members would support the repeal and so would we, we are educating our members about what this means and
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advocating for relief for wherever we can get it. thatotential opportunity may be progressing through the house and senate is changing the definition of full-time employee from 30 hours -- 40 hours per week to 30 hours per week, with a shot of confidence and certainty for small business owners. has beenkuhlman traveling around the country, talking to small business owners. we have a special number for small business owners. waiting on that line is thence, --santa monica, -- events vince in santa monica. caller: can you talk more about -- guest: this is for all small
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business owners, it may come with a penalty but this is only for businesses above 100 inloyees in 2015 and 50 2016. what this definition is is affordability based on the employee's perspective, taking into account three factors. wages,ves the taxable box number one of the w-2 form, what is the health insurance premium, if there are multiple plants what is the highest -- lowest-cost one, and what is the if you offer coverage as well and what is the employee's contribution to that. if the employee's contribution to the health insurance premium is less than 9.5% of their taxable wages, it is deemed affordable. the significance of this definition is that if the employee is offered affordable coverage they cannot leave their employer sponsored plan to get a
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tax credit on the health insurance marketplace. if it is not affordable they can leave and get a tax credit on the health insurance marketplace. leaves, it is up to the affordability definition for business above 100 in 2015 and above 50 in 2016. that employee will face a $3000 penalty. that is the second penalty that applies to all businesses with about 100 and 2015 and above 50 in 2016, but the definition of affordability applies to all businesses, not just firms. want to talk about the exchange and some of the issues facing the exchange they are trying to roll out. what is the shop exchange for small business owners? this is similar to the
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marketplace, healthcare.gov, the shop exchange with small business health options program. an online marketplace for small businesses to stop -- shop for health insurance for their employees, and last fall, for all intents and purposes, the federally facilitated small business changes or delayed for a year, with online enrollment and some offerings arrangements were delayed for one year and this may be related to small businesses. this is the marketplace where the concerns tax credit will be available. so this may make it attractive for this year, and small employers and those with less than 50 general through directly through an insurance agent or broker. next fall this thing is supposed to be online and working and people can shop for plans there. it will open up the businesses with up to 100 employees in 2016 and even larger businesses in
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2017. this is a new marketplace that will provide more options, and offering arrangements for small businesses. host: there are states running their own programs, the states who are not having the federal government run the shop exchange. guest: in no states running their own exchange, many of them will have the basic shop exchange. in no states they have had mixed results. maryland has delayed there until april 1 at the earliest and california just went online and then pulled it off line. i and not aware of any that have had substantial results because a lot of the information has not been published. just last wednesday, all the statistics were least for january on the individual exchange marketplace and the did not contain any individual information on the shop exchange. host: some of the information
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that came out on the affordable 3 millionnrollment, people have received insurance through these exchanges and 9 million eight insurance through medicaid or a parent company so the numbers continue to trickle out on enrollment. but we are talking about small businesses and the impact of the affordable care act on small business owners. the phone lines are open. scott has called in from dallas, texas for the democrats. caller: good morning. that, we are a small business of 129 employees, we are self-insured. plans, one would be called the cadillac plan and the other is the basic land. we need to 9.5% threshold. guess, isn, i twofold.
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we have been offered insurance seeg back to 1964, i can two problems, to potential problems, number one, how does self-insured, i know only applies to the employee, not families, but we offer coverage for families, also. how does this affect employees who do not sign up for the 20% ofinsurance policy, the employees did not sign up for health care. i guess you would classify them as the young, and indestructible. >> excellent questions. the first, health insurance, -- self-insurance, you avoid a lot of the requirements of the law, the health insurance package -- theink a lot of people,
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opportunity to self-insure has been looked at by a lot of folks, i don't think that there is rush -- a rush to self-insurance. because you are self-insured and affordable, you avoid a lot of those new requirements, and your premiums may have a little bit more predictability. and you also avoid some of the new taxes on health insurance products. aspect, the 20% who opt out of the plan, 2 comments on that. because of the individual mandate, there may be a larger desire of them to at least take a look at your health insurance options. they will not be allowed to access the insurance exchange if your coverage is affordable. basically, you are their only option. the second factor is the key word in the employer mandate is
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offer. not provide. as long as you offer the opportunity to have health insurance you will not be penalized even if they choose not to enroll in coverage. i think those businesses between --and 150, just like 129 they would consider themselves employers -- small employers and are now considered large. that is the sweet spot that will have the most challenges moving forward. thank you for calling. talk about the 50-150 employers. what rules of the affordable care act apply for businesses under 150? businesses under 150 employees will not be required to offer health insurance, but a good'd do so, percentage choose to offer
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employee sponsored insurance because they and their employees value it -- if you choose to insurance, itlth will have to meet more requirements and it would have had to, previously. businesses, when they have to offer health insurance, will not have to offer health as smaller employees if -- employers if they choose to do so. the risk of that -- the list of federal health care mandates, the tax on health insurance policies that is only on fully insured plans, were small businesses purchase their health insurance, and other market reforms, and the maximum variation of 3-1. the dockable limits that only target the small group market of $2000 for the employee-only plans. limits the only
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options of small business owners increases, premium they have less tools to try to operate, and control health insurance premium increases. kuhlman is a manager at the fnib, here to answer your questions. we want to hear from small business owners, we have heard from a few in this segment. let's go to democrats, scott is waiting in dallas, texas. from madison,sue wisconsin on the line for the independence. are you there? caller: i am here. host: you are on with kevin kuhlman. caller: i had one question. there are small businesses with under 50 employees, they may have over 50 employees.
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i know some businesses that go andr one name for under 50, 2 small businesses under 50 with different names. how is the government tracking this. is this a punitive situation for the number of employees and the small business name, or is this for the owners? how is this working. >> this is an excellent question. with a very complicated answer. i will try to make it as clear as mud. if a business owner has multiple locations, or multiple names or for group of business owners owns multiple business entities, even if they are completely unrelated they may be aggregated and combined and pushed above 50. this is a little bit concerning. what this uses is the pension law, and applies this to health insurance benefits.
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if five or fewer individuals own 80% or more of the business they will be considered a controlled group and be combined for the purposes of the employer mandate. it gets very complicated be on that. there are three tests, the subsidiary test and the brother sister test and the hybrid of the two. i say all of that in case someone finds them selves in that situation. consult a taxhey specialist with expertise in the benefits law or a benefits specialist with expertise in tax law. host: did you have a follow-up for kevin kuhlman? i was just thinking and not putting any company down, but walmart, although they are a huge corporation, they have a lot of subsidy areas, they have distributed warehouse in colorado. they have a lot of different businesses in different locations.
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>> in that instance, they would likely be aggregated. i am not as familiar with their ownership structure. but they would be aggregated and attached to the control group at the top. all of those would likely be combined, and this is just an excellent question. that would bring some problems. there are some folks who own the law firm as well as a diner or a dry cleaner and those may all become by based on the ownership structure based on completely unrelated businesses and different employees. this is something to be aware of and something that has been concerning us. we asked the irs and treasury for more to pass on to small business owners. in, imaginerites all the money small businesses have spent with consultants on trying to implement obamacare. rules requirements, wasted. we are talking with kevin kuhl
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man, here to answer your questions. he started his career with the ways and means committee, he is here to take your calls and comments. let's go to richie, in mount vernon, new york on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. my question is this. what do you tell the business person who is now in the position because of the 50 and under 50 thing, they are not making the money that they want to make or should be making. what happens, do they go out of business or start up again? what do they do? guest: excellent question. we are finding that there are 2 kinds of recoveries if you will, the small business economy is still suffering from the recession, from lack of demand and some of these legislative
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and regulatory concerns. we actually track small business confidence every month at the national federation of independent business. we have a survey on small business economic trends and unfortunately, the news has not been great. expansion is flat and fluctuates from month-to-month, but genuinely we are near record lows for optimism. what do we tell business owners that may not be able to accept the new mandates or requirements -- because we don't have a responsibility we can't tell them to shut their doors but we try to provide as much education and as many research -- resources as we possibly can. there are some who fall into that category, many of them have chosen not to expand above the threshold if they can.
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they are just sitting tight at this time in trying to hold on as tightly as they can. of folks wanting to talk you, we have 10 minutes with kevin kuhlman. i will have to talk about the impact of the affordable care act, what did this say about small businesses when it came out about two weeks ago? the small businesses -- they revised the estimates of how much would go out with the tax credit. this is continually revise, they were hoping to give out $40 billion worth of tax credit, this was 20 and now this is 14 billion and may be revised down even further. the headline news from that is that there will be, in the labor market, eventually 2.3 million less people choosing to work the full-time equivalent hours. this is concerning for a lot of
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members. i heard this a lot last week in ohio. folks are worried about this. there are businesses who can't find the employees that they need for their semi-skilled workforce. they don't want even less demand for some of those positions and being unable to fill. host: we go to jupiter, florida. aubrey, good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted -- i wondered, i feel like we pay for medical benefits in so many places as compared to socialize medicine in canada, with my health insurance and my general liability policy but workmen's compensation. and as a small business consultant i am always surprised that nobody has looked for workmen's compensation the only people who benefit from this are
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lawyers and companies that cry all the way to the bank. there are a lot of issues but workmen's compensation expensive business. why are we looking at that. host guest: that is a good question and we hear that all the time. health insurance is an issue because the responsibility has gone from state governments to the federal government so now they are partnering together and the regulation has been federalized. workmen's compensation six close of we at the state level, there are many states who are trying to reform workers comp, but you are right. costss one of the top 3-5 behind payroll, behind health insurance and workers comp, it is definitely out there and a major concern. it is interesting to see how the
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health-care law may impact workers comp. i don't have the answer to that but anyone who does actually insure their employees before they make decisions such as dropping benefits or shifting their workforce or anything like that should probably take a look at other lines ofct benefits like workers comp insurance. all of these things are attached. >> you talked about small business uncertainty. mile and asked this -- this --d asked uncertainty come small over the place. is in the spotlight as we deal with the regulatory process but it comes from lack of demand, regulatory uncertainty. what we have seen in our research foundation surveys is
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that inaction or action isn't -- creeping up there. have been in the top 10 before but now this is in the top five. the uncertainty comes from everywhere but we are certainly in the spotlight and intervening to this. host: some of the research surveys, are they available online? and the tabonline is therefore the research and we have a comprehensive education website. and for small business owners who want to share their experience with the affordable nfib.gov you can go to and share it there. and share it there. stories about how this is affecting small business
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owners, we will ask 1000 small business owners, how this law is impacting their bottom line and their business, basically. questioned them from 2012-2000 14 how this is affecting them, and we will finally ask them in the summer of 2015 for changes between 2014 and 2015. we first year results -- hope to find changes in the future two years. nfib.com is the main website to get to this information. we want to hear from small business owners as well. withinutes we have left kevin kuhlman. let's go to peter, calling in for the independents from utah this morning. are you with us se?
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this is peter, from utah. how concerned about businesses were hiring -- the hiring of part-time employees so they don't pay benefits for health insurance. like here, we have a little store under 100 employees or more. that part time -- affected by this affordable care act. >> i think this is a universal concern. folks are concerned with increased our time labor and so full-time labor as these incentives are aligned. full-time is 30 hours per week for the purposes of the employer mandate. people talk about the 29ers.
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inre is evidence out there the real world that people are, getting their hours reduced and economists say this is not on a grand scale. one reason this is not on the grand scale is because this is the late for one year and then an additional year for certain businesses. opportunity, is an to address this issue. and put more money in people's pockets. it is changing the definition of all-time employee from 30 hours per week, to 40 hours per week. the way the house of representatives has marked up a bill that would be considered that and be given to the house floor -- and there is incentive to-- incentive in the senate do the same thing with senator collins and donohue from indiana. if there is something that can be adjusted this year, it is
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changing the definition of full-time employee to 40 hours per week and i think this would help employers and employees. >> we are talking to small next ones and joe is the line for democrats. guest: thanks for taking my call. -- caller: thanks for taking my call. i have a problem with one thing that the guest said, regarding how we should work on affordability rather than expansion. does this mean we should forget about the 50,000 without insurance? do we leave them to die? this is the typical republican viewpoint, let's make it cheaper for the people who have insurance and not to the people who don't because they don't vote enough. this is not what i meant by it, the number one reason people do not purchase health
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insurance is the cost. if you focus on affordability and the cost of the products, the demand will increase. not mean to say throw everyone out in the cold but i think you would increase health insurance coverage by reducing the cost and making it more affordable, focusing on the cost drivers and affordability as well as exploring other options that would put pressure -- market pressure to decrease the cost of health insurance. i did not mean for to be interpreted as throwing everyone out in the cold but if you can focus on cost and affordability of the product you can expand coverage. >> a small business owner calling in -- host: a small business owner calling in from north carolina. you are on the line. caller: i wonder about the use of informant agencies, if you
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get employees to one of those agencies does this eliminate your liability on the aca. guest: excellent question. who counts as your employees -- w-d's yest, 10-99's now. they are full-time, seasonal workers but three categories that it not count our temporary employees, and independent contractors do not count as employees. you talk about using an employment agency -- they would not count as employees of the business that utilizes that, but they will count as employees of the employment agency, the staffing firm and the temporary firm and those folks may be in line for increase costs and benefits.
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that being said, we say that because it may increase the cost agencies oring employee agency labor in the future. someone has to pay for the increased benefits and penalties. w-2's anyone shifts the to 10-99's, that comes a lot of other legal responsibilities and you give up a lot of control. we don't caution anyone to do that but the categories that are not challenged our temporary employees, or independent contractors. excellent question. host: what kind of business do you run in ring bill, south carolina. caller: i run a consulting firm. host: what has been the impact of the affordable care act? none, we areally very small and don't meet the thresholds yet. we may expand and that is -- we
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are looking to avoid some of those burden some things that you have to do. to meet that threshold. companiesple who have that do use these informant agencies. i thought that that was the way to go. just wanted to ask about that and i appreciate your time. guest: i appreciate you calling in. that will do it for our time with kevin kuhlman at the administration of federal business -- national federation of independent business. tost: we always look forward getting out there, it re-energizes us, and helps us get positive changes for our small business owner members and feedback that we can translate to the decision-makers, regulators and legislators in washington. thank you for the opportunity. i appreciate that. host: come back and talk to us at fnib.com.
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nextll have brian moulton to talk about same-sex marriage and the -- bitcoin challenges of virtual currency. first, c-span radio. powers, britain, france, germany, russia, the united states and iran talked about the final settlement on tehran's nuclear program. this is the first run of negotiations since the deal to programs for six months. the talk is to extend the time would need to produce a viable nuclear weapon. this is the first in what is expected to be a series of meetings in the coming months. a member of the punk group pussy
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riot says that she and a bandmate were detained today in sochi. a local activist says that the band members were accused of theft and nine people were held in total. back here in washington, president obama will announce that his administration will begin the next stage of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy vehicles, following his state of the union pledged to set new fuel standards for in his words, they can drive down the cost of paying at the pump. he will call on the epa and highway administration to issue new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by march 31 of 2016 according to a white house report. those are the latest headlines on c-span radio.
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>> on the cricket -- creation museum, we show our beliefs based on the bible and show what our beliefs are and what we can experience with in the present. people who think critically and in the right terms about science, i think the creationists should be educating the children out there because we are teaching them the right way to think. i am challenging evolutionist to admit that they believe aspects of evolution and be up front about the difference. >> i encourage you to explain to us why we should accept your word for it, that natural law changed in just four years ago, completely, and there is no record of it. there are pyramid's older than that. human populations that are far older than that with traditions that go back farther than that, it is just not reasonable to me
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that everything changed for thousand years ago. i mean species, the surface of sky,arth, the stars in the the relationship of all other living things on earth to humans. it is not reasonable to me that everything changed like that. >> evolution versus creationism, the science guy bill nye and ken debate atthe bible wednesday on c-span on wednesday on c-span. journal" continues. lton on thebrian mou status of same-sex marriage across the united states. a busy year on this topic from virginia, utah and oklahoma. there is a story about indiana today. what is the most mythic and development in your mind? guest: taken together, these
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five federal judges have ruled for marriage equality, since right before christmas. it demonstrates a feed -- what a see changes happening in terms of this issue and we have dozens of more cases pending all over and i think you will keep seeing the trend building and building until finally the issue is in front of the supreme court and we have it settled. host: the latest in the last week, news out of virginia. the headline from the richmond times, they have struck down the gay marriage ban. what happened in virginia? federalhey came to court in virginia and issued a challenge to the gay marriage ban as inconsistent with the promises of the u.s. constitution and a judge agreed with them. and said the marriage ban in virginia cannot stand. this will be fueled by the folks in that case going to the fourth
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circuit joining a number of other cases in federal appeals court. >> that ruling has been stayed because of that appeal. yes.: that does not mean marriages will start in virginia in the interim unlike what happened in utah where marriages were going on after the judge ruled that the marriage ban was unconstitutional. the supreme court eventually stayed any further marriages while that case was on appeal. what is the status of those who were married at the end of last year when it was legal for that brief window? guest: it is complicated for them. with federal law, those marriages are recognized for all federal purposes. but the state has been less clear with those couples. the attorney general and governor have said that those marriages are not recognized for
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state purposes, by and large, with another lawsuit brought by the american civil liberties union on behalf of those couples that got married and are being told that there marriages are not valid for state purposes. this continues to be a complex situation as that case moves forward. host: oklahoma, bring us up-to-date there. guest: a federal judge in oklahoma, just after utah, struck down the law in that state. it was the supreme court in the state of utah decision -- they have done things so marriages cannot begin in oklahoma. this was heard with the utah case because they are covered by the same federal appeals court. those cases will be argued in the middle of april and hopefully we will hear something soon after that. this is after the summer decision by the supreme court,
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what was about that ruling that opened the door for what we are seeing now in 2014. guest: they ruled that the federal defense of marriage act, this law that had defined the law as a union between man and a growing number of states -- there marriages were not respected. -- struck down that law and they pick apart the justifications very clearly. that ruling has carried over to the judges looking at stake marriages. looking at why these laws were reportedly passed, to preserve tradition and their ultimate rearing,nt for child that those could not stand scrutiny and on the defense of part of act -- that was
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these case about state marriage bans. host: we are talking to brian moulton of the human rights campaign. please give us an overview of this organization. guest: we are the largest gay and lesbian advocacy organization with 2 million members and we work in washington, and all over the country. host: if you have questions or comments for brian moulton, republicans -- democrats -- independents -- with a special line for lgbt viewers. --t line, there is movement on the states and the federal level, this is "washington post,"
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bring us up-to-date on those decisions. guest: the windsor decision that acts but continues across the government, agencies have announced that same-sex couples will be recognized for their purposes. the justice announcement is the latest of those and it depends that she deals with how people are treated in the federal court system, around bankruptcy, around the ability of someone to use what is called the privilege of not having to testify against one's spouse during a trial. and ensuring that programs of the government -- justice department gain benefits for the spouses of law-enforcement officers, that this may apply to same-sex spouses. host: phone lines are open and cameron is waiting in union, washington. caller: thank you for taking my
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call. i just wanted to make a comment on my theory about where the circles could be drawn, politically. work --ibertarian but i i vote for conservatives because democrats vote down the line for government. the size of this crosses over from democrat and republican and think groups-- i larger than the portions left on the right or left -- we are all about liberty in america. in washington state which has legalized gay marriage and i voted for it. i believe in god but i am agnostic. -- if youous right discriminate against someone because it is against god's law, you have to ask why god created these individuals.
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fundamental message is i don't want to discriminate against someone for their behavior which is not in the constitution. i believe their rights are being violated. the gays in this country are not asking for anything other than the or rights under the law. host: brian moulton? guest: thank you, cameron, for those great comments. these issues, with marriage gbt equality,l these are issues about liberty and freedom and that is what people are advocating for, the ability to enter into marriage and not be blocked by restrictions of the government, and forming that way, with the law. the politics of this are
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still very present today. this article about in the wall street journal with republican candidates on the rise, there are three openly gay republicans running for congress this year, one of them is the house candidate carl demayo, here he is with his partner, jonathan hale in 2012. openly the presence of gay democrat and republican candidates, how is this changing the face of this issue? guest: people are more likely to support this if they know somebody who is lgbt and the federal as well -- you know someone who is in your family or a friend, but being in other levels of government, representing the issues that you care about as a constituent and
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doing this a bully, acknowledging that this is an lgbt person, but seeing them perform and represent you in the way that you want, this makes a tremendous difference in these issues. this is also true for folks in washington in the house and senate who work with lgbt people. it is hard to work against someone's civil rights when you know their family, you know more and more they are just looking for the protections that you have for your family. do you get involved in specific races and help candidates? going forhelp those federal office and look at their records on lgbt issues in deciding who to support and oppose, this includes democrats and republicans. host: have you looked at the three openly gay republican candidates that the "wall street
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journal" spoke of? we look at individual candidates and we have had the happy problems of having democrats and republicans in races that are both supportive quality, and this is a nice problem to have. host: we are talking with brian moulton. if you have questions, we are talking about same-sex equality on the state and federal level. the numbers are open -- republicans-- democrats -- independents -- lbgt viewers.or kansas, you are on with brian moulton. our constitution begins,
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we the people, and you are turning to judges to overthrow the ruling of the people in multiple states. i just don't quite get why the people have lost power. but this seems to make no difference. with the amendments to the constitution, not specifically given a reserve to the state. the states have traditionally since colonial days have said that marriage definition is decided by the state. and now we have the federal government stripping -- sticking their long nose into every part, of every lawmaking decision. judges are not to make the law. thank you very much. you, frances, and my response would be that any law has to be consistent with
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the guarantees of the u.s. constitution. that is what that is therefore an fundamental protections, like equal protection of the law and due process affect all of us it is thelgbt people, job of federal judges to look at these laws and make sure that they are consistent with the constitution. this is as much a part of our system as all other levers and that is why organizations like mine are doing -- helping same-sex coast -- couples advocate for their rights and it will be the courts and more legislatures and votes that will move this issue forward. in congress, if some members had their way would revisit this issue that is being left up to the states. this is an article from the "wa shington post," ted cruz and mike lee brought in a defense of marriage act that would reverse
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same-sex couples made after the defense of marriage act was overturned. this makes a statement from senator ted cruz. -- your response to that and what you think will happen with this proposal? federalhat the government has been doing since the windsor decision this summer is not forcing a definition of any state, with a consistent definition of marriage for its own purposes. it would be incredibly difficult for the federal government, when you move to travel from one state to the other, to decide if your marriage is valid or invalid. it makes the most sense for the federal government, and operating their own laws and programs to adopt a universal
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standard and they have chosen to recognize these marriages even when people move to a state that does not recognize these marriages. it does not mean anything about what the state says about the validity of these marriages. my response -- it is supremely ironic that the senators are in favor of letting states determine what the marriage definition is. they supported the federal defense of marriage act, this federal standard for massachusetts, connecticut and california, we don't care that you have adopted marriage for same-sex couples. we are not going to respect that. but now that that has changed, suddenly they want to give control of the issue to states. i find that disingenuous. fortunately i don't think they have a chance of moving. host: is there movement in the house for a companion piece? guest: there is from congressman
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weber, from texas. this has cosponsors but is not strongly supported in the house and the republican leadership in the house, i think they will do what they have been doing, not jumping on the anti-lgbt bandwagon with potentially harmful legislation. host: we have 20 minutes left and we have alton special line for lgbt viewers. is rickon that line from spokane, washington. caller: thank you for c-span. one point we have to consider with our good friends who are religious, the decision that marriage is a process in the church, but this is a guaranteed right for all citizens to have the ability to marry.
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it should not matter what the religious views are because there is a distinction between civil and religious. this has to be made clearly. this is absolutely right and a great point to raise. anytate has required religious institutions to celebrate a marriage or recognize a marriage in their faith and none ever will. the first amendment protects these religious organizations and their beliefs on marriage and others. i think all we have to do is look at the experience of the 17 states in the district of columbia that have marriage for same-sex couples. churches are not being required to recognize those marriages. happen know what will when we eventually get marriage equality in all 50 states, this is a civil institution with equality under the law, and people will continue to do and think what they want about marriage.
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you mentioned the states allowing same-sex marriage, this is a chart showing the 17 states in dark purple are the states that allow same-sex marriage, 17 states including the district of columbia, outlined states that sinceving to end the ban june of 2013 and that supreme court decision, those states, virginia and pennsylvania, oklahoma and utah. what other states are you watching with efforts like we have seen in these states? in the vastve cases majority of states without marriage equality, we have cases in texas, there are cases in north carolina and south michigan, ases in challenge to their marriage ban that will go to trial in federal
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court later this month. continue to be these developments and federal courts all over the country. i am hopeful that the trend that we have seen these last five disc -- district judges ruling for marriage equality will continue. which -- host: which is the next one to go? guest: the case in michigan has a trial pending but we keep trying to predict the next decision and what comes down that we were not anticipating. i think any number of cases will see this decision on the trial court and it will be most interesting to see with these federal appeals courts do with the utah and oklahoma court -- cases, ohio and kentucky with this going up to the fourth quarter -- fourth court of appeals, we will see with these federal courts have to say. host: marie tweets --
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guest: i wish we were at a point where we do not have to discuss marriage equality, this was just taken for granted that these families would be recognized and treated equally but that is far from where we are, only 17 of marriagestates have for same-sex couples and that means we have to keep talking about this issue and raise the profile of the harm that these marriage bans have on same-sex couples raising children and goodies and show that no is being raised here by harming families. and life goes on in states that moved to marriage equality. and we only to keep moving in the right direction. tacoma, washington, independent. caller: thank you for taking my
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call. it is interesting that the focus is more on marriage than on rights. i don't think it is about marriage, i live in washington and know a lot of gay couples, they have been getting married for years. it is about the rights that they are not getting. would be more beneficial if we focus more on rights, and the marriage aspect of it. thank you, your absolutely right. the reason that marriage is important is because of the dignity or respect that they convey, as part of the society, but also the legal protections that come across for these couples and their children. it is important that we knowledge both aspects of that. we don't want to over emphasize that this is about gays or lesbians wanting tax breaks from
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the government. at the end of the day what people are seeking is to have their family recognized and protected just like any other family. and that is really the issue. i think that is the message that most people can identify with. heterosexual couples are probably thinking about marriage because they want to get a certain federal benefit, or a certain tax treatment. they want to get married because they love each other and want to commit to each other and that is what same-sex couples want to do as well. staying on rights as opposed to marriage, despite the olympic tensions, gay russians feel more vulnerable. a map here with a global gay punishment and acceptance, listing some of the states and countries around the globe that have the death penalty for homosexuality for
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lgbt individuals. your thoughts on what the olympics has done for this issue on the international level? guest: i hope the olympics has spotlight to shine a on the anti-lgbt propaganda law, in russia, that bars people from speaking up -- positively about shelby gt issues. the olympics have given us the opportunity to highlight that. but i hope also to highlight the fact that what russia has done, unfortunately is not unique. there are countries all over the world that have severe penalties including death for lgbt people, punishments for organizations ,orming and people advocating we have conversations about the advancements in the united states but we need to remember that a lot of countries, just the basic humanity of lgbt people is at risk.
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we have a line for lgbt viewers, kent is on the line from connecticut. you are on the line with brian moulton. this is for the other viewers, as a military officer, retired, i understand very well some of the descriptions people have of the concerns they have. reframeink we should the argument, just a little bit. the military did not fall apart when they changed don't ask don't tell. command and control work's perfectly fine and it always will work fine. society understands that this is about rights and the loving of individuals. this is said clearly in john believeth whosoever
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in him, not just accepting people, has the ability to reframe the argument so people can understand that. this is not just about tax we need to do that better, to help people to expand their knowledge of this issue as opposed to thinking of marriage and divorce issues. guest: thank you. you are absolutely right. for entirely too long, it has been cast that religious institutions are on one side and lgbt are on the other and that is far from the truth. there are so many faith traditions that are welcoming that celebrate their lgbt parishioners and are actively working in support of lgbt inequality in marriage campaigns all over the country. they do it not in spite of their
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religious lease but because of them. that is very much a part of this movement. it is important that we highlight that. host: john on our line for independents. good morning. law of i support federal equality for everybody, the way the constitution protects everybody to live how they want to and do what they want to. with that being said, i want to know if it does become federal law or state law, would you support a religious organization and preachers denying, would there be any kind of backlash if a preacher said that he or she would not marry a homosexual couple or something like that?
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guest: thank you, john. is in the case of the 17 states and the district of columbia. who does noteader want to perform a ceremony does not have to. the laws are clear and there are provisions all over the country making clear that religious institutions continue to be able to hold their believes about what marriage is and isn't. just like a catholic priest is under no obligation to marry a couple when one of the spouses is divorced from a prior marriage. another religious leader can refuse to marry someone if they are not part of that faith. that same rentable applies when it comes to same-sex couples. host: we have about 15 minutes
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left with brian moulton, policy and political affairs at the human rights campaign. what do you do? guest: i support our work in washington with congress and with the administration in advocating for laws and policies that support the lgbt community. we have done a lot of work over the last six months or so working with the administration on ensuring that the decision striking down the defense of marriage act is striking down. host: what is enda? guest: the employment nondiscrimination act. so that people can work free from discrimination based on their gender identity. to most people, there is no state law that prohibits such discrimination.
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in 29 states, someone could be they are gay.ause there is no law in some states to protect transgender people. in places where marriage equality is not the topic of conversation and people are just as much concerned about being able to make a living and have health insurance. that is why we need a federal law that protects people all across the country. host: what is the status of those federal efforts? "theis a story from federal blade." momentwe had a historic in the senate last fall when it passed with strong bipartisan
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votes, supporting the vote including senator orrin hatch of utah, who is not been a supporter historically of lgbt. it is unfortunate that after it passed, the speaker was quick to suggest it would not move forward. we have 202 cosponsors on that bill. that is not far from the 218 that we need for it to pass. we are focusing on a key number of house members and demonstrate to the speaker that the votes are there and if he would allow the common sense measure to move forward, it would pass. host: we have a few minutes left with brian moulton, here to take your calls and comments. phone lines are open. we have a special line for lgbt
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viewers, 202-585-3883. eric is waiting in delaware, good morning. caller: hi. i am calling to ask two questions. since marriage, is a civil right, does he support the right of a brother and her brother to get married, a sister and a sister to get married, a mother and a sister to get married? can everybody get married? he said something about massachusetts, california, and another state. they had to use the court to enforce it on the people. california voted on it and they denied the use of gay marriage but had to go through the court. why can't you let the citizens
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of the state decide it? thank you. bye. guest: thank you. on your first question, no civil right is absolute. there are restrictions on people's free speech. every right will be assessed when it is limited. why is the state doing that? theomeone were to argue for inter-familiar marriages you described, those in the vigils would have to demonstrate the state restricting marriage. it didn't have a good enough reason to do so. every issue has to stand on its own two feet. it doesn't seem to be something part of our conversation today. it will have to be justified. we are getting up every day and
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making our case to the american people. marriage equality has moved forward in different parts of the country in different ways. vindicated and the have been popular votes on marriage equality. we had three states where the voters supported marriage equality. own ad voters wrote d marriage ban and the legislature approved marriage equality. it was the state legislature in delaware that brought marriage equality. we are moving forward on marriage equality on all fronts. that doesn't mean advocating for rights vindicated in that way is any less legitimate than moving forward to the other parts of our democratic process. host: two most recent news from
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virginia, a judge struck down virginia's gay marriage ban. we have a tweet from a democrat from new york, kirsten jill of gillibrand.en we have been talking and matt smith writes in. let's go to miriam on our line for independents. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call.. i agree with the gentleman that just called. it and itrts get in is noal -- there discrimination. they are comparing it with an
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discriminated against a person of african-american or maybe spanish or whatever you want to call it. ast is not the same discrimination against them. it is a matter of principle that god set up marriage to begin with. i love my dog but how would you like it if i want to marry my dog? host: why don't you jump in here? guest: it is funny to hear the distinction made. discrimination based on race and against lgbt is different and how it has come about. aboutme arguments sensible and how god made marriage were made to restrict interracial marriage.
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the judge in the virginia case cited back to the supreme court decision of loving versus virginia and a judge in that famous quote about how god had put the different races on different continents and had not intended for them to mix. ofare hearing the same sorts arguments around marriage for same-sex couples. we will make our case and continue to make our case to legislatures and voters and advocate for equality. if there are other aspects that individuals want to change, they will make those cases and have to stand on their own two feet. issues is anese unfair comparison. we are going to continue to successfully make the. case for
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marriage equality waiting inyton is arkansas. good morning. caller: good morning. people to dor of what they want to do. is decisions they make somewhat pleasing to the laws of the land. according to that, it is about the laws that god had established and we are all a nation under god. the same-sex marriage is i think god and weation to should live by god's law. host: you are calling in for a lien on lgbt individuals. are you lgbt? caller: yes, sir. i am a viewer.
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are you lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender? caller: i do not support same-sex or gay rights. it is an abomination of god. host: we will let brian moulton respond. guest: as we spoke about earlier, there is not one religious opinion about lgbt equality. many religious organizations are working to support the rights of lgbt people all over this country. and secondly, marriage is a right and a protection conveyed by the state and is granted to people of all backgrounds, many of whom will have believed that are not consistent with a majority religious opinion.
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that is how our pluralistic nation makes its laws. it is for all americans. host: what is the next step for the supreme court? when do you think it will happen? guest: there are several cases that are going to move forward. the remainder of this year, we may have different decisions come down on different sides of the issues. i think the court will ultimately take this issue up orin within the next two three years. host: brian moulton of the human rights campaign. we appreciate you coming on the "washington journal" today. up next, edward felten we'll talk about bitcoin and virtual currency. but first a news update from c-span radio. >> a new alliance of legal and
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media organizations are launching an ad campaign calling on the supreme court justices to allow cameras to televised oral arguments. they are taking the unprecedented step of using a television ad to job attention to the lack of transparency in this powerful branch of government. nearly 300 times in the washington, d.c., markets over the next few weeks. brent o'byrne is joining the defense department as the assistant to the secretary for public affairs. he will oversee the pentagon's communication and public outreach efforts. ofwas fema's director external affairs and secretary
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shaun donovan's chief of staff at hud. baghdadf car bombs in has killed at least 33 people. all of the attacks were cars are near commercial areas and bus stations. killed 17bombings people and wounded 49 others. the iraqi ambassador will deliver remarks later today. c-span is covering this event. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. spot tonted me in that know if i could handle it. and secondly he wanted young coming toboth races the supreme court as they all do by the hundreds and thousands
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and somebody said, who is that man up there? somebody said he was just -- but he is a negro? he wanted that image. >> thurgood marshall was in the johnson administration. c-span radio concludes it serious with former supreme court justices friday at 4:00 eastern online at c-span.org a nationwide on xm satellite radio channel 120. >> c-span. we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings, and conferences, and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. we're c-span, created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider.
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watch us in hd, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter. >> "washington journal" continues. host: edward felten of princeton university's center for information technology policy for a discussion of bitcoin and the concept of virtual currency. thank you for joining us. and a lot of viewers may be a bit confused about the concept of what bitcoin is and what it isn't. what is bitcoin? guest: sure. a.coin is a virtual coins there a certain numbers of bitcoin in existence, 12.4 million. it lets you hold them and pay them to others who have the technology. if you can find a person willing to exchange bitcoin four
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dollars, you can use bitcoins to buy things. host: bitcoin is known as a decentralized currency. how does that concept work? guest: what is unique about bitcoin is the technology behind it. it has an interesting aspect. there is no central authority who issues bitcoins or essential body who decides what the rules are. everyone who participates in the bitcoin technology plays a small role in making it work. the system's rules are determined by consensus of the participants rather than central authority. , we areward felten talking about bitcoin and we want to hear from our viewers,
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questions and comments as we take you through this topic. republicans can call 202-585-3881. democrats, 202-585-3880. independents, 202-585-3882. 202-585-3883.s., we will have the numbers up on the screen. what is the history of bitcoin? how long has it been around? guest: bitcoin was created by someone and has been around for a few years. it is a pseudo-name of a pen name. we don't know who the creator was. a white paper and some software which was the initial life of the bitcoin system. it has grown a lot in popularity. now it is becoming a widespread
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currency. there is about $8 billion of value in the bitcoin economy. you can trade bitcoins for dollars. is roughly $100 million a day in payments that are handled by the bitcoin system. it is small compared to the dollar economy but a sizable thing. host: why would somebody want to use bitcoin as opposed to dollar bills or using a credit card online? guest: one of the things that is different is it is surely digital. you can send some money money from computer to computer or by phone to phone. it offers different security properties then traditional currency. transactions are digitally signed, which provides a stronger level of transaction
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then writing a check. in some kinds of settings where the traditional banking system takes a long time where their high fees to do a transfer, and might be cheaper to use bitcoin to transfer money. host: how is the price of a bitcoin determined? is the one person who sets the price? does it fluctuate with the markets? guest: it is supply and demand. there is a whole sector of businesses which create markets for people who have dollars and want to buy bitcoins to meet up with people who have bitcoins who want, dollars and so the price will fluctuate from minute to minute. it is like buying some other currency. you just go to a market and the price is determined by who is willing to buy and sell. host: how does the bitcoin
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become part of a bitcoin market? guest: bitcoins are created through a process called mining. the mining process is a bit complicated. you have a set of people who are trying to find a solution to a particular mathematical equation. firstr finds a solution is a given currently 25 new bitcoins which is worth $20,000 today. that happens about every 10 minutes. they go to whoever manages to solve the equation first. bitcoins have trickled into existence. and that will continue to happen. host: who sets the equation that they want people to solve? who is the creator of this equation? guest: that goes back to the
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original history of bitcoin. in the beginning it was the creator who set up the system. the system has evolved and the rules have changed by consensus of the people who are creating and using the bitcoin software. the idea is the equation solving functions as a voting process where the number of your likely to be the first to solve the equation depends on how many copy tatian will resources you are putting in. it is a way of voting were people can pay for the right to vote. the miners are rewarded by getting the 25 bitcoins. they have to keep it stable and they help to create a public record that keeps track of everything that has happened in the system. so mining is -- host: is is a reliable currency?
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we don't know who set this up to begin with. you are saying the market can fluctuate. do people see this more for speculation or do they think it will be a lasting currency? guest: there is a difference of opinion about that. some people are investing in bitcoin because they believe it will be used for more transactions. but really, you can ask is it reliable in a bunch of different senses? will the technology continue to function? confident.relatively you can ask will the price crash? will people continue to believe that bitcoin has value? that is the other form of reliability. we have seen the bitcoin prices
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go up and down. the currency has continued to function for several years now. there are people who are optimistic and others who think stage in ouris one eventual transition to some future digital currency which will be better and more stable. host: how do federal regulators bitcoin?kers view guest: they are trying to figure it out, is the short answer. there are all kinds of rules and regulations that apply to andnesses like banking derivative securities and money transfer services and so on, and governments are trying to figure out how those rules and regulations apply to bitcoin
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related to businesses. one good example has to do with the laws about money laundering. if a business is engaged in buying or selling bitcoins for dollars and handle a lot of large value transactions, they are going to have a certain transactions to report in the same way that any other business handling financial transfers of that size would have. regulators are trying to figure this out. and have taken a light hand have tried to engage with the bitcoin community to understand what is going on. they are trying to find a way that consumers can the protected and money laundering can be limited while still allowing the technology to flourish. we have a long road ahead of us in figure out how government can operate office. host: edward felten of prison university's center for information technology policy is here to answer your questions
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and take your comments on this issue. we will start on our twitter page. what do you think? guest: would i use bitcoins over u.s. dollars? i think that depends on what you want. certain kinds of money transfers seem to be efficient in the coins. the value of the dollar fluctuates less in bitcoin. if you want to store your savings, dollars a much safer. but i can see the argument for investing in bitcoins as risky but potentially with high upside. you'll probably lose all your money, i suspect, but you might make a lot. withro ron, you are on edward felten of princeton. on?er:h hi, am i
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host: yes, go ahead. caller: ok. to me the whole thing sounds like a scam. you use language like you say you mine bitcoins. there is nothing tangible about a bitcoin. what would stop anyone who controls this? there is a mystery about who is controlling it. what would stop them from creating as many units as they want to enrich themselves or to them other people to buy and then the whole market crashes? i think you would agree because you yourself said you will go broke eventually. but this is like a tulip craze in holland and it will just buy out as a huge scam. what are your thoughts on that? host: edward felten? guest: i do not think it is a
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scam. system is designed in a clever way which makes it difficult for anyone to get control of it. the rules of that coin and the official history of which transactions have occurred is maintained by a now, it is true that bitcoins are not backed by gold or any of the commodity. they are not issued by any government. the value that a bitcoin has exists entirely because people agree and expect that other people will accept it. oft is true of any kind money. the value of it comes from our expectation that other people will continue to accept it. --the extent that bill coyne bitcoin maintains that, it will be accepted. as prices go up and down over
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time, the fluctuations have all been around a pattern of relatively steady growth. my own belief is that i think digital currencies are here to stay. they will be an important technological development. maybe bitcoin will be the one that wins and become successful in the long run. maybe something else. receipt it. i don't think it is quite right to say that this is a scam. this is a new kind of financial technology that is a bit surprising. we might not have predicted that it will be a stable as -- that design such able to si a successful system. is a fondness to it in its design. it relies on people just agreeing that this is the currency that they want to use. host: let me get you to respond to this description by jody on
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twitter. she says, "bitcoin is like bartering. it is as valuable as one values it." is that accurate? guest: that is exactly right. it is as valuable as one or as the market generally values it. that is why the market has given it a value. right now, the current totaled measured bitcoin is in the billions. that ifsolutely true the consensus shifts and people decide that they are not the thing, they are not valuable. they will move onto something else. i will predict that they will move on to some other digital currency. host: we have joe waiting in indiana. on our line for republicans. caller: i want to hear more about worst-case scenarios. createdral reserve was 100 years ago because jpmorgan
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was the go-to guy in the financial crisis and they did not what the whole country dependent on jpmorgan to organize a bailout as one man. backing --harge of fixing problems that can be technological or economic or all kinds of things? if nobody really thought these worst-case narrative through, this is ridiculous -- do you own any bitcoins your self? guest: let me take that in reverse order. i have owned bitcoins. i don't happen to own any at the moment, not because i'm opposed to them but because my wallet is empty at the moment. i know a lot of technologically sophisticated people who understand bitcoin very well, as
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well as financially sophisticated people who have invested in bitcoin and believe that it has a strong future. and others who disagree. it is a matter of genuine debate. ,n terms of who is in control this is one of the hardest aspect of bitcoin to wrap your mind around. that is that there really is -- no one is in control and everyone is in control. what i mean by that is that any change in the rules of bitcoin or in the operation of the system that is agreed to and supported by a substantial majority of the bitcoin users will happen. it is really a kind of consensus that emerges out of the system. the stability of the system relies on there being a broad and diverse set of people who are involved. that is why it is proven to be the case. there have been some technical issues that have arisen a couple
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, including one recently. the community has been able to organize itself and deal with it to make an adjustment in the bitcoin technology or two make an adjustment in the rules which is able to get past the situation. so i think there is some encouraging evidence that bitcoin is able to cope with challenges. we have not seen a major crisis in which there is a big risk of a failure of the currency. of theis not out question that the community will be able to cope with that as well. it seems to be well organized enough and able to act when something needs to be done. at least that's what it looked like host: so far. host:i want to read you some from the current account column in the wall street journal, talking about this being a turning point for virtual money. in his bed after weeks marked by technological breakdown some
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regulatory issues and general questions over its viability on the bitcoin is in the midst of its worst crisis since it was proposed in 2008. the turmoil is a watershed, the way bitcoin and its ecosystem reacts to the problems could it becomes ather historical technical breakthrough like e-mail. would you agree with that assessment of the current state of bitcoin? caller: i would not go that far. not go thatwould far. there is a challenge in the system due to a technical problem. but the community is responding to it. it is certainly the case that this has been the highest profile challenge or crisis that the bitcoin community has experienced. that is because bitcoin is just eating a lot more attention right now. i think the longer-term issues that bitcoin faces are more around regulation and what happens when or if the currency
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skills to a much greater level of usage than it has now come which would strain the technology. it is a bump in the road but something that the community is dealing with. host: can you explain transaction malleability 4s? i hate to drop the jargon, but that is what people are talking about. you can think of a bitcoin transaction as being someone like writing a check. i created digital object which is the transaction that says i am putting in one coin and you get one going out and i will put my digital signature on that to authorize the payment. the transaction has what is called a transaction id, which is like a check number. is is thatusiness people have figured out that there are ways to modify the transaction after it has been signed. you can change the details of payment. you can change that it is one
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coin being paid or that i am paying it or that it is being paid to you. what you can do is cause the transaction id to change. so you can imagine that if itsone is trying to balance bitcoin checkbook and trying to match up the transactions that it thinks it made with the transactions that have shown up in the public ledger, the transaction ids don't match, then there could be some confusion. that is a problem that some companies have had to deal with. there are rumors that some companies that do not account for this issue, which has been a known issue for a number of years, they have lost some money. the system seems to be moving along and a solution is in the works. host: explaining bitcoin and virtual currency is edward felten. he is the professor of computer science and public affairs at princeton and the founding director of princeton's center
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for technology policy. he served as the first chief technologist at the federal trade commission and he is here to answer your questions and comments. john is up next from new jersey on our line for democrats. good morning. caller: thank you. laid out aaller had frightening fact pattern for manipulation and in digital currencies. my question is, what makes them think that is not happening now with the currency we currently have? my real question here is, many people perceive that the federal reserve is a so-called "public private agency" influenced by private banking elites. will digitales currency have to that power structurally? currencie offer a
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different model of governance through this kind of consensus that exists. some other digital currencies would have a company that issues the currency that plays more of a governance role. model is the one that is most different from traditional currency models. this idea of a currency covered should govern by consensus rulemaking is not something that has existed before and that only becomes possible because of the way that bitcoin is able to use cryptology and distributed computer algorithms to design itself. it is a new governance model and i think time will tell how well it does in comparison to traditional national currencies. host: let's go to jeanne waiting in herndon, virginia on our line for independence. we're talking bitcoin and digital currency. hear thingsy time i and dollars and
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credit cards, there seems to be a comparison left out between bitcoin and something such as paypal. seemescription i've heard very similar to paypal. i wonder if the guest could explain how it is different from paypal. guest: sure. the difference really is that paypal is a system that lets you transfer dollars. to makellows businesses online transfers. you are transferring dollars and doing it by connecting to either bank transfers or the credit card system or some mechanism like that. it is a more convenient way of doing traditional dollar transfers in the financial system. what is different about bitcoin is that bitcoin creates this new currency that you can own. fixeds not have a exchange rate with dollars or any other currency.
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therefore, that bitcoin in a sense has its own economics which operates different from the dollar economy. that is why it is different and it is harder to understand and predict how it --ht behave and why it might i think things like bitcoin probably will -- open up new kinds of financial technology opportunities that people are still figuring out now. host: we have about 15 minutes left with edward felten. you can follow him on twitter. he is here to answer questions from our beers. paul is calling in from montana. -- questions from our viewers. caller: thanks for taking my call. i would like to ask you a question about this issue. it sounds to me like we are paving the way to a cashless society. i personally do not have a
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computer, i do not engage in computer technology, i do not have a checking account, i have two savings accounts, i am liveed, i am disabled, i on disability and i make all of my transactions in cash. am i going to be excluded from this technology simply because i do not engage in computer technology of which i find to be intrusive and invasive? thatuest: i don't think something like bitcoin is going to drive cash out of existence. cash has advantages that you understand well. a lot of people like it. fast, does not require you to identify your self for
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low value transactions, which a lot of people appreciate. it is widely recognized. on the other hand, cash is inconvenient in some senses. it is difficult to transfer cash to someone at a distance. it can be dangerous to carry large amounts of cash or to store large amounts of cash. we will see a mix of both things. i don't think cash will go away. people doe, a lot of a lot of finance these days in electronic form. i think bitcoin to the extent that it becomes a big success will be displacing current electronic financial actions rather than displacing cash. host: a lot of questions about scenarios.n what happens to bitcoin in an electromagnetic pulse event? guest: it depends if you back up
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your computer. are using bitcoins or them, there are a couple of different ways you can go. one is to store the bitcoins or the secret keys that protect the bitcoins on your own computer. you better hope that you back up your computer because it is like storing cash and a mattress at the house burns down. there's no getting it back. some people use online services or they rely on businesses or services that help them to store their bitcoins. if you are using such a service and if they have taken precautions, there are different ways of backing up bitcoins. you can back them up in the same way you back up regular computer files by taking a bitcoin and printing them out onto paper and then you can put them in a safe deposit box and scan them back in later. a file a bitcoin is just on your computer, it is just information. really anything you do to forms ofr backup other
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information come you can do to protect her bitcoins. it allows people to do that. if you have bitcoins and you are storing them yourself, you really ought to have a backup. host: let's go to jeff in laurel, maryland on our line for independence. -- independents. caller: you are talking about mining bitcoins. i understand that it is a complicated math problem that you solve. you are verifying other bitcoin transactions. my question is, when you reach the theoretical set limit of bitcoin out there, who is going to be willing to verify this transactions in the future when there is no more bitcoins to give out? guest: that is a great question. answer and context for other viewers, let me explain a low bit of background here.
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-- a little bit of background here. every 10 minutes, a new bitcoin block is made by minors. -- by miners. that reward of 25 bitcoins is scheduled to be cut in half in a couple of years and then in half again a few years after that and so on until eventually it will get close to zero. the question is really what currently the bitcoin system relies on these rewards that are paid out to minors every 10 minutes. motivate them to participate in the system that makes the public ledger stable. as a reward for doing that, what happens to keep people motivated -- there was some disagreement about that. my belief is that the bitcoin community will eventually decide to change the rules.
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miners the reward to does not go down to zero and more continue to be made at a steady rate. that will solve the problem. one way or another, there will have to be some way to continue to reward them for as long as bitcoin goes on. i think it is within the capacity of the bitcoin community to agree to a rule change that will stave off the problem. it will not happen for at least five years from now, which in the history of bitcoin, is really an eternity. host: there is no central bank for bitcoin. what is the bitcoin foundation? guest: the bitcoin foundation is an organization -- a nonprofit that serves as a kind of -- it does two things. one is that it serves as a kind public for him or spokesperson for the bitcoin technology. official thatng
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makes the bitcoin foundation in charge of the bitcoin technology. but it is an organization that was created to be a voice on behalf of bitcoin businesses and users. the other thing it does is that it manages the development and distribution of the most popular software that people use to access bitcoin. again, there is nothing that is special in principle about that software. it is just a version that most people happen to use. so the bitcoin foundation has been a focal point for a lot of discussions about the technology, even though it is not institutionally within the design of the technology have any special status. host: does that group have any relationship to this mysterious person that set up bitcoin? caller: we don't know. -- guest: we don't know. we don't know who this oshi is.us sat
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there is a lot of cocktail party discussion about who he is. nobody knows. we can't say. i think the fact is, there is a hi, butfocus on satos nowadays, even if you did step out -- he did step out and ,dentify himself or herself they would have some -- they would be viewed as speaking with some authority, but they would not be in charge. the notable feature of the bitcoin technology is that no one really has direct control over how it operates. that is why the system has been able to succeed even though we don't know who created it. that in the past couple of years there has been more groups that are buying and selling goods using bitcoin.
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bitcoin been taxed? on what you'reds doing with it. if you are a merchant and you are accepting payment in bitcoin, what you are doing is your customer is buying bitcoins with dollar somewhere else and then ship those bitcoins to you and then you as the merchant probably trade those bitcoins back into dollars. you might even use the service that does that for you. you end up with a bunch of dollars that you got through that sale and you will be taxed on those dollars. if you are engaged in buying or selling bitcoins as an investment, consult your lawyer. i certainly don't want to put myself forward here as an expert on taxation. if you're engaged in bitcoin, you don't want to end up with --
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you will want to end up with dollars. n to: phone lines or oper talk to edward felten. our line for democrats. caller from illinois. caller: good morning. you touched on it just recently about will it ever be able to be used as an investment purpose to the timen you touch on lapse between the exchange from bitcoin into cash? guest: sure. bitcoin is used by some people now and has been for a while in that form of investment. you could go and buy bitcoin stay and hold them and then hope that the price would go up and then sell them later. there are some people who have done that. peoplen active sector of doing that. as far as what the delay is, there are two answers to that. one is, how long does a
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transaction take to clear within the bitcoin technology itself? the answer is typically about one hour. if you are doing business with a bitcoin exchange, you might want to transfer money to that exchange via a bank transfer or your credit card. how long that takes can vary a lot depending on how close your relationship is with that business. it could be very fast like the credit card payment or take days depending on how it is going. if you're an active trader of bitcoins come you could probably get back and forth between bitcoins and dollars on a timescale of something like an hour. if you are new, it may take you a few days. host: our line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning, mr. felten. foundationitcoin bullion tooduce gold
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?e governed by state policy ec could the bitcoin foundation federally produce a gold bullion through princeton university's trade investors? do have a response to that? guest: i'm not sure i understand the question. i guess i would say that the bitcoin foundation or princeton university or anyone else really doesn't have the power to govern bitcoin the way it works now. any change that happens with bitcoin and the way it works really is something that has to emerge from the bitcoin community. host: let's go to william, waiting in texas.
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good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to comment about who made the coin. i've been using bitcoin since 2009. i feel like it has lost its practical usage now that it is worth $600 each. can you comment on that? how it is not as practical. guest: certainly the valley of -- value of bitcoins has gone up. around $600 per bitcoin. bitcoins can be divided into smaller units. you can transfer the equivalent of bitcoin pennies to someone through the system. i'm not sure that it is less practical in that sense. one thing that is true is that
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as more people are using the the sorts of fees for ent into doingat whe transactions have gone up. not a lot. but certainly it is not the case -- it has made a transition from being what was once a kind of hobbyist technology to something that has larger businesses and bigger investors involved in it. there is a professionalization of the bitcoin community that is going on right now that will continue to happen. that does mean a change to what it feels like to be a participant in the system. host: jim on twitter pointed out that nobody has asked if you can pay your tax bill with bitcoins. d.c. the federal government ever excepting bitcoin as payment? guest: i think it will be a long time before that happens. you have to pay your taxes and dollars. that is going to continue.
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i do think that if bitcoin becomes a popular medium of outlook exchange, it will be used a lot in transactions and you'll start to see larger accept payments in bitcoin. there are some technological advantages in terms of speed and the cost of processing transactions. i would not expect the federal government or any large institution to be among the first adopters. in the last minute or so, from -- if last week i want to buy bitcoin in person nnstead of risking a online ripoff, how do i find reputable agency ec? guest: there are site you can use online to find people who are offering to buy bitcoins the rate physical -- the rate
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physical meet up. i really don't have an answer for you on that except to think about it in the same way you would think about buying any in aof unique object personal transaction. and look forsk other indicators of trustworthiness. i don't think there is an easy answer to that. host: edward felten is princeton university's policy director. we appreciate you joining us for this discussion on bitcoin today. guest: thank you. i android it. enjoyed it. greatwe hope you have a tuesday. ♪
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>> congress is out until next week. last week, the obama administration released its cyber security framework guidelines. we hope to take you live to a discussion. we are having some transmission difficulties. we will record the event later in hours deadline you'll be able to see it on the span.org. -- on c-span.org. the president will be announcing new fuel efficiency standards. he is talking about standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles on which account for 25% of fuel use and greenhouse
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gas admissions. cbs news writes that in addition to environmental benefits, he will likely argue that the upgrades will save companies money on fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicle. he is speaking at a safeway grocery warehouse in upper marlboro, maryland. we will have that live at 11:20 eastern. the european commissioner for trade on the latest development in u.s. europe transatlantic trade. we will have that live on c-span 2. a group of u.s. russia experts discuss relations between the two countries. that is here on c-span. tht

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